opinions on U300-NS1?

Discussion in 'Toshiba' started by mystery905, Sep 4, 2007.

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  1. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    Hi,

    Does anyone have any opinions on the U300-NS1?

    I just bought one, along with an HP 2422CA (13.3" vs. 14.1" I know).

    A few things concern me:

    - build quality: I had a Toshiba E830 PocketPC before and although it was a good design with good value, they cheaped out on the casing: it would crack in the top two corners, eventually requiring a casing replacement.

    The fact that the keyboard is painted silver doesn't help, as I wonder what it will look like after some use: will it peel and/or flake off in time?

    - battery life: the Future Shop ad claimed 4 hours, but in use, I get from 2 - 2 3/4 hours at mid brightness, wifi on. Is there a good cheap source for the 9 cell, and if so, what kind of battery life can I expect? Is the 9 cell the same size, or does it stick out in the back or stick out on the bottom?

    - How is overall Toshiba laptop quality? Some sources seem to indicate they are tops along with Lenovo/IBM. Other sources say the recent models have taken a drop in quality.

    - although I didn't buy a notebook for gaming, I would like to occassionally play an odd game once in a while; what games can be run pretty well on the GMA 950?

    Thanks in advance!

    Regards,

    Potential Toshiba member.
     
  2. randalle

    randalle Notebook Enthusiast

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    Here is the specs that you need; This is not actually a gaming laptop so don't expect to much about gaming since this laptop is using shared memory on graphics

    PSU34C-NS108C
    Processor

    Intel® Pentium® Dual Core processor T2080 (1.73GHz, 533MHz FSB, L1 Cache 32KB/32KB, L2 Cache 1MB)

    Operating System

    Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium

    Memory

    Standard Memory: 2x512 GB DDR2 (667 MHz)
    Maximum Memory: 2GB DDR2
    Expansion Modules: 512MB, 1024MB or 2048 DDR2

    Hard Disk Drive

    160.0 billion bytes, 9.5mm height, S-ATA, 5400rpm.


    Optical Drive

    Built-in DVD Super-Multi Double Layer Drive functions:
    Read: CD-ROM (24x), DVD-ROM (8x),
    Write: CD-R (24x). CD-RW (24x), DVD-R (8x), DVD-R DL (6x), DVD-RW (8x), DVD+R (8x), DVD+R DL (6x) DVD+RW (8x), DVD-RAM (5x),

    Display System

    Type: TFT Active Matrix colour LCD display
    Size (diagonal): 13.3” Wide XGA TFT with TruBrite™ Screen Technology
    Native LCD Panel Resolution: 1280x800x16.7 million colours
    External Support and Max. Colour Support (dependant On CRT): Up to 2,048 x 1536 x 16.7 million colours

    Graphics Controller

    Mobile Intel® 943GML Express Chipset with up to 251MB
    DDR shared video memory

    Sound System

    Realtek ALC268 Software Sound; Intel High Definition Audio,
    Built-in stereo speakers, Direct 3D Sound, DirectSound,
    DirectMusic, MIDI (playback).

    Communication

    V.92 56K Data/Fax modem
    10/100 integrated Ethernet LAN,
    Atheros Wireless LAN (802.11b/g)
    Integrated 1.3 Megapixel Web Camera for Video over IP
    Integrated microphone for Voice over IP


    Expansion

    2 memory slots - each slot has 512GB. Zero free slots. Slots can be filled with 512MB, 1GB, 2 GB modules
    1 Express Card Slot
    Ports: 5-in-1 Bridge Media Adaptor (SD Card, xD picture card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick Pro, Multimedia Card), 3 USB 2.0, RJ11, RJ45, IEEE1394, external microphone port, headphone port, RGB

    Keyboard

    CANADIAN BILINGUAL KEYBOARD
    Full sized 86 keys with 12 function keys
    Dedicated Windows Keys.
    CD/DVD Control Function: Play/Pause, Stop, Previous track/Next track

    Pointing Device

    Touchpad Pointing Device

    Additional Software

    Toshiba ConfigFree™
    Adobe Acrobat Reader
    TOSHIBA Disc Creator
    TOSHIBA DVD PLAYER
    Norton Internet Security™ 2007 - 90 day trial
    Microsoft Office 2007 - 60 day trial

    Physical Dimensions

    Dimensions: (WxDxH) 310 x 227 x 30.2/34 mm
    Weight: 2.09kg (4.6lbs)
    Color: Onyx Blue Metallic


    AC Adapter

    65W external Universal AC adaptor input voltage (100 - 240V 50/60Hz Frequency (Universal), output voltage (19V, 3.42A).
    Dimensions : (WxHxD) 108 x 46 x 34 mm
    Weight: 240g

    Battery

    Battery Type: Removable, Rechargeable 6-cell
    Lithium Ion (Li-ion) 10.8V x 4000mAh capacity
    Dimensions: (WxHxD) 208 x 21 x 74 mm
    Recharge Time: Up to 4 hours off / 12 hours on

    BIOS

    ACPI support, PnP support, VESA support,
    DPMS support, DDC Support, SM BIOS support, PCI BIOS Support

    Security

    Cable lock slot, power on password, supervisor password

    Environmental Specifications

    Temperature: Operating 5° 35°C (41° 95°F); Non Operating -20° 65°C (-4°149°F)
    Thermal Gradient: Operating 15 C per hr. max; Non Operating 20 C per hr. max
    Relative Humidity: Operating 20% to 80% non-condensing; Non-Operating: 10% to 90% non-condensing
    Altitude (relative to sea level): Operating: -9.14 to 3,048m; Non-Operating: -9.14 to 12,192m.
    Shock: Operating: 7G; Non-Operating 60G
    Vibration: Operating 0.2G; Non-Operating: 1G
     
  3. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for the info, but I was looking more for people's opinions based on their actual experience or what they have read on the 'net.
     
  4. randalle

    randalle Notebook Enthusiast

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    Ok then, What is your ideal laptop? Is it for gaming? or just for internet access? or you want something that is portable and really light?
     
  5. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    Please see original post.

    Thanks!
     
  6. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    Overall, I think you might fare better installing windows xp pro with the appropriate drivers from both the toshiba website and the intel website - the reason being is that unlike BloatISTA - Windows XP doesn't require an entire core to itself either when it's doing something or not - i.e. it only uses a core or more if YOU Are doing something..

    Not to mention software compatability is alot better on Windows XP currently than on Vista. Generally, I'd say the U300 is the ideal laptop for serious people who don't have time to play anything but the odd game here and there - but more rather need a somewhat portable laptop so as not to bust your back or your wallet.

    If you read the thread on the satellite u300 of which all the u300 buyers posted in, you'll see what people have to say about it - i.e. the u300 series uses all the same external components; the only slight differences are a somewhat better integrated card, cpu, wireless card (upgradable), more ram, and different battery sizes.

    All in all, case sturdiness would be the same since they use it universally throughout the satellite series and in the tecra m8 series as well.

    In terms of battery life, I somewhat doubt 4 hours - I think that rating is for the general series and not your specific model; although I haven't done any research into what I'm going to say now - I have a hunch that with the cpu in your model being in the lowest category, I suspect that not only is some of the Mhz/Ghz cut down, but some of the power saving features as well (of the cpu).

    The basis of that hunch is that each time Intel designs a chip, and they want to make it cheaper, they usually start throwing things out like on chip memory (cache), slowing down the clock speed, taking out more advanced features such as power savings, etc. - and I highly doubt this case is any exception..

    If I had to choose between the NS1 and a NS5 (which includes a 'regular' core 2 duo) - I'd choose the the one that had the regular core 2 duo, especially since knowing that intel usually scuttles features inside a chip to make it significantly cheaper.

    The 9 Cell battery which my u305 has is said to provide 4-5 hrs easily while doing things like watching dvd's etc. (which as anyone knows pulls a lot more power than just typing or surfing) - though I haven't been able to personally test it yet.

    Overall, I think the machine is a good buy when taking into account it's features and the amount it's selling for :)


    - Jordan
     
  7. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for your response!
     
  8. j0rdy

    j0rdy Notebook Consultant

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    Glad to be of assistance - Hopefully, I provided some valuable insight :)

    - Jordan
     
  9. theshowman

    theshowman Notebook Enthusiast

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    I also picked up the DV2404 and the Toshiba U300-NS1 during the back-to-school sales last week (seen you on RFD;) )

    What are your impressions of these units?

    The U300 that I got had the following issues:
    - FAN ON/OFF constantly. Also, it would start off high/med/low, and again and again. That really bothers me.
    - Had a back pixel and the space key didn't work
    - it did get fairly hot specially on the side, but given that I returned it the next day, I can't remember now if it was hot around the palm rest or not.


    However, I really liked the design, the overall feel, the build, and portability factor (weight, compact, good weight dynamics). Mind you, the area around the express card slot didn't seem all that strong and could easily break, unless you put an express card or stuff with with something.

    The HP DV2404 (which is essentially the same as what you got, but with the 6c battery - I really dislike the HP 9c battery design) with a TK-53 is also quite nice.

    I like HP's design and the overall feel of the laptop. The screen is also great (I've compared it with my Lenovo v100, Dell Vostro 1400, Acer AS5600, Dell 640m) and I think has the nicest one of all. Too bad it is 1280x800 and not 1440x900.
    It definitely feels heavier than the Toshiba (4.6lb), but lighter than my Vostro 1400, even though both are marked as being around 5lb. Still, overall, it is very very solid and the overall weight dynamics are great (again, the Vostro 1400 falls short of this unfortunately - Dell really disappointed me)

    Temperature wise, it is hovering around 50c. While Idling, the fan is on, but at very low speed and you can't hear it. When it goes above 56c, the fan gets louder, but it doesn't have as annoying noise as the Toshiba U300 (which the FAN would go ON/OFF even during idling).

    My biggest issue with the DV2404 is the palm-rest getting extremely hot (It is housing a Seagate ST9160821AS 160GB HD underneath), and given the special surface of the palm-rest, I think it tends to keep the heat as opposed to dissipate it.
    Other than that, the bottom doesn't seem all that hot.

    Brining the Vostro 1400 into the picture, that unit is extremely cool (C2D 5470 Santa Rosa) and you can't here a thing from the unit, even when the core's are busy. It is certainly a winner on this topic.

    At this stage of the game, I'm really torn. I did pick up another U300 which I haven't opened yet.

    I'm curious about your U300 experience specially to do with HEAT. How hot is the palm rest or the bottom of the unit? Do you also notice an unusual FAN behaviour?

    I'll start running some CPU benchmarks and see how the AMD and INTEL deliver in real life.
     
  10. mystery905

    mystery905 Notebook Deity

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    Hi,

    I ended up returning the U300. It was a tough decision. Yesterday was the last day I could return my HP DV2422, so I guess it's my notebook now!

    Yes, the U300 did run hot, especially in the top left corner where the processor vents out the heat.

    To me, the DV2422 feels more solid: I don't have to worry about silver paint wearing off the keyboard; the painted surfaces have a 'clear coat' to protect them.

    The U300 was such a nice size, but a combination of factors such as build quality, battery life, graphics card, and past bad experience with Toshiba E830 PPC made me return it.

    I almost ordered a Dell, but for the price I got my DV2422, it was a bargain compared to what I would have had to pay for a Dell 1420 similarly configured; plus I didn't have to wait for delivery and factor in re-stocking fee if I didn't like it.

    See you on RFD!
     
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